Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Bye, Allen......

I am truly sorry to see how this played out - I really wanted him to finish his career here. In all my years of following Philadelphia sports, I've never come across a player so enigmatic. I could never really settle on whether he was a good guy or a bad guy; I guess he was both and neither, just a regular complicated human being. His relationship with Larry Brown was one for the ages and probably took 10 years off Larry Brown's life. But I'll never forget when he won the MVP of the 2001 All-Star Game and when he got his trophy he kept yelling, "Where's Coach? Where's Coach?" until Brown appeared and Allen gave him a big long bear-hug. It was truly moving.

But then there was, "Practice! C'mon people, we're talkin' 'bout PRACTICE!" [all Sixers fans can recite this from memory] But there was also the 2004 Olympics, when most NBA players refused to participate because of security concerns; Allen never wavered from his commitment to the team, saying he was honored to be chosen and to play for his country.

Did he ever play at 100% healthy? One thing you could never question was his dedication or his heart; he played more beat-up than anyone I've ever seen. In the course of treating one of AI's dozens of injuries, the team physician mentioned that he had given Allen a pain tolerance test, and he had scored off the charts. My sisters and I discussed this at great length.

A couple of years later, I dislocated my toe [yes, folks, I'm going to tell the dislocated-toe story], and when it came time to set my toe, the doctor said he could give me a shot of novocaine, or I could go without, which would be quicker but much more painful. Laura (who was at the ER with me) and I discussed this, and I'm pretty sure AI's name came up, and I decided to go without the shot. It only took the doctor about 5 seconds to reset my toe (and yowee, it hurt like a m**@#$%^&*@#r), but I rolled like Allen, and ended up with a moment that I have and will brag about forever and ever.

"Hey, AI, remember when they set my toe without novocaine???"


Blogger CurlyGirl said...

I often think about how much you are like Allen Iverson..........WA HA HA HA HA!!! NOT!

9:28 AM  
Blogger diana said...

Thank you, CG. I am often compared to Allen Iverson.

And, yes, DMJ, the Nuggets games may be the craziest thing in the NBA to watch!! They're coming to town in January. Now THAT will be very interesting!!

7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the left coast, I always though AI was the "Terrell Owens" of the NBA....

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

buy my new book! ~TO

3:01 PM  
Blogger diana said...

Ouch!! No, I have to say, in his defense, that AI is no TO.

8:43 PM  

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